Peripheral Visions

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Web Hosting for Small Businesses: Pitfalls to Avoid

Start-ups and small businesses don’t always need a website to begin with, but the benefits of marketing online are too great to go without one for very long. One of the most important decision that every start-up or small business needs to finalize is the selection of a web hosting service provider. Web hosts are companies that provide access to a server that that the company either owns or leases as well as provides internet connectivity, typically in a data center. for use by their clients as well as providing internet connectivity, typically in a data center.

Unfortunately, not all web hosting companies are created equal for a small business, and finding a host that can provide the best service isn’t always easy for the non-technically inclined. Some companies are not simply entirely honest or trustworthy. It is helpful to attend a chamber of business meeting in your area to ask peers for their recommendations or to search online in forums specializing in web hosting providers to find out which companies people have had good experiences with. Of course there is nothing quite as useful as having the knowledge yourself. For that reason, here are some of the signs of a web hosting company that doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

Bad Trial Period

This is probably the most important factor to consider. If the trial period is very short or completely nonexistent, there is a good chance that their services aren’t too great. You need the option of a refund if it turns out that the hosting is not all it was cracked up to be. You should look for a web hosting service provider that offers a trial period for at least a month. This will allow you to verify their services are a best fit for your needs.

Unlimited Hosting

For whatever reason, it is becoming more and more common for web hosting companies to tell their customers that they offer an unlimited hosting option. Sadly, it has become so common that the claim of “unlimited hosting” is no longer a guarantee that a hosting company is a bad one. Still, it is important to realize that there is no such thing as unlimited hosting, given that computer resources are always limited. Whenever this claim is made, you should look into the fine print to find out what is really meant by unlimited hosting. It could mean that you will have to limit the content of your site, or it could mean that it is “unlimited” within other limits.

Un-managed Overselling

Overselling web hosts are fine, but un-managed ones are a nightmare. You will often get placed on a server that is either very slow or unreliable. In order to find out if overselling is managed, check the disk storage capacity, server load, and memory usage. If the figures don’t make sense, you could be falling into a trap.

Hidden Charges and Cancellation Fees

Many hosting companies will charge you extra for inconsequential services such as stat reports and script usage. There are also companies that charge enormous cancellation fees. To prevent this from happening, the only real option is to look for horror stories on the internet, or ask questions about a particular hosting company at a forum on the subject.

Guarantees of No Downtime

The fact of the matter is, it is impossible to avoid downtime in the long run. There is always something that can go wrong that will cause your site to temporarily go down. This doesn’t happen very often, and many will quote a certain percentage of minimum uptime that they will stand behind, but any company that makes a guarantee of absolutely no downtime is lying. Companies that make this guarantee should be avoided like the plague.

Some of the best hosting companies available include In Motion Hosting, Blue Host, and Web Hosting Pad. There are several forms of hosting service providers such as shared hosting and the newer form of cloud hosting so be sure to check out Wikipedia for an overview of web hosting service options.

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Categories: Business Tips


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